Saturday, June 5, 2010

Running in the morning

I've known for a long time that my best workouts happen in the morning. Until recently though, my children woke me up an average of 2-4 times a night, and getting out of bed, before absolutely necessary, wasn't going to happen. Now, they are both sleeping much better (and let's hope I don't jinx it by admitting it out loud).

Twice during the past week, I've gotten up prior to 6 am to go for a run before my husband had to go to work. I roll out of bed, get dressed and go into the kitchen for a small bite and some water. Then I lace up my running shoes, put my ipod on and hit the trail.

I love the feeling of running in the morning. I love the solitude. The river, which sometimes still has a bit of fog along it. I keep the volume of my ipod low and I can still hear the birds. The trees. The mountains in the distance. The temperature is still cool, but no problem once I'm moving. If anything, I've been dressing too warmly.

Today, being Saturday, I had planned to sleep in a bit. I didn't need to go for an early morning run since my husband doesn't work weekends. Yet, I found myself waking up with the same energy and feeling of purpose I've had for my other morning runs... at 5:45 am. I rolled over to go back to sleep, but I didn't sleep. I gave in about half an hour later and got up, following my morning routine and heading out the door.

This morning, it was drizzling the whole time. I had dressed a bit lighter then usual, and though my core temperature was almost perfect, my arms were cold. Note to self: get arm warmers.

I fell into my rhythm. This week, I'm running for 90 seconds and walking for 60. I find the running segments a bit challenging, but doable. The walking seems really long though. I recover reasonably quickly. I took a different route today. Still by the river, but the other direction. Feeling the rain on my cheeks while I ran, the beat of my feet upon the path. Saying hello to the lady walking her dog, stopping for a moment during my walk segment to look at the view. Back towards home, with a loop past the park, since I wasn't quite done.

Back down my street and into the front door, where I'm greeted by the morning enthusiasm of my little girl and the bleary eyes of my husband. I stretch, then return to reality. Boil some water for oatmeal and tea. Send my husband back to bed.

For the last 3 years of sleep deprived parenting, I've had a "rule" that I tried to get my unsympathetic children to understand. Morning doesn't begin until 6:00 am. I would accept if they had to get up anytime after that, but prior to that, they must go back to sleep. They must. Yet, here I am, getting out and running at a time which, by my own definition, is still night time.

I'm loving it.


  1. I find it intriguing how different people have different preferences for running. Mine is 100% dusk - I ran the fastest, it seems the easiest, I enjoy it the most.

    You sound happy! Keep going Deb!

  2. That's wonderful...I'd like to follow the same routine as you but am having trouble getting out of bed in the morning. Although I don'T have children I have sleep issues and continue to wake up every couple of hours during the night. I prefer early morning work outs because the day hasn't had a chance to beat me down, everything is fresh, and allows me to feel energized for the long day.

    Great job and continued good luck!

  3. That is so great, Deb! I'm glad you're able to devote that time to YOU.

  4. That is fantastic. As another mom of crappy sleepers I find that I'm more intune in the mornings. Used to the early wakeups, so that getting up and doing something for me, kinda seems like a reward that something negative.

    You're doing great!